The Library of Virginia, in partnership with Dominion Energy, honors seven distinguished African American leaders annually by recognizing them as
Strong Men & Women in Virginia History
. These individuals, past and present, are chosen based on their "contributions to the state, the nation, or their professions."
"These men and women offer powerful examples of individuals who refused to be defined by their circumstances. Their biographies are a testament to the determination and perseverance displayed by extraordinary people during challenging times. These individuals demonstrate how African Americans have actively campaigned through education and advocacy for better lives for themselves, their people, and all Americans. It is these many contributions that the Strong Men & Women in Virginia History program seeks to recognize and share."
One of this year's honorees is William E. Bailey, an aviation pioneer and philanthropist, who has family ties to the Fredericksburg region.